If you have concerns about services provided by the utilities, want to object to offensive advertising, argue against government agency decisions, here are the contacts. All the web sites listed will have details of addresses, phone numbers, and nearly all will describe what they cover, what they can’t deal with, and the procedure you need to follow. Some studying here is likely to save time in wasted approaches.
Utility regulators mainly deal with pricing matters and aren’t very good at explaining their complaints procedure on their sites. See also Media/communications below.
- Ofgem, Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (took over from separate Electricity and Gas regulators).
- Gambling Commission incorporates National Lottery regulation.
- Postal regulation is part of Ofcom.
- The Pensions Regulator.
- Office of Rail Regulation.
- Office of Water Services.
- The Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. took over responsibilities of Office of Fair Trading (2014)
- Competition and Markets Authority took on responsibilities of Competition Commission (2014).
- Check the Consumer companion pages from Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
- Consumer Futures (previously Consumer Focus), which took over from Postwatch, EnergyWatch etc, has transferred functions to Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland and General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
- Consumer Council for Northern Ireland provides a consumer voice in NI, including helping with complaints – transport, water, energy, postal services, money affairs (banking).
- Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and the Health Service Commissioners – The Ombudsman
- Local Government Ombudsman.
- Northern Ireland Ombudsman.
- European Ombudsman.
- National Audit Office ‘conducts financial audits of all government departments and agencies and many other public bodies, and reports to Parliament on the value for money with which public bodies have spent public money’.
- Audit Commission was abolished March 2015. See info on the audit framework for local authorities.
- Audit Scotland.
- Wales Audit Office / Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru.
- Northern Ireland Audit Office.
- Public Audit Forum.
- The Adjudicator’s Office for the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and The Insolvency Service.
- See Social regulators below for relevant government agencies – NHS, education etc.
Other areas: start out at Gov.uk.
The Ombudsman Association has a list of members.
Also note Centre for Governance and Scrutiny – online resource for auditors or scrutineers of public sector bodies. “Not only to hold executives to account but also to create a constructive dialogue between the public and its elected representatives” on public services.
Government Departmental websites are on the Lobby page.
- The Charity Commission is where concerns about registered charities in England and Wales should go, Companies House for possible company legislation issues.
- For those unhappy with a decision made by the Charity Commission, there is a Charity Tribunal.
- In Scotland, Office of Scottish Charity Regulator. The Scottish Charity Appeals Panel deals with appeals against decisions made by OSCR.
- Northern Ireland’s version Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.
- Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
- Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People.
- Children’s Commissioner for England.
- Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.
- Office for Standards in Education – OFSTED Site includes links to specific school inspection reports.
- Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
- The work of General Social Care Council is now part of Health and Care Professions Council – all social workers in England need to register here.
- Northern Ireland Social Care Council All social care workers in NI need to register.
- Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is the health and social care regulatory body for Northern Ireland.
- Scottish Social Services Council.
- Social Care Wales.
- Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.
- Complaints procedure for Department of Health, NHS.
- Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Making sure all immigration advisers fulfil the requirements of good practice.
- Independent Office for Police Conduct.
- Upper Tribunal has taken on role of Office of the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners ‘Specialised part of the Judiciary appointed to determine appeals on law under the Social Security and Child Support Acts’.
- Independent Complaints Reviewer investigates complaints about Land Registry, The National Archives, The Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency, Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
Charity fundraising is regulated in a number of ways. Local authorities licence street collections, while the Charity Commission (in England and Wales) registers and oversees accounting and reporting.
- The Fundraising Regulator launched summer 2016, covering England and Wales. It runs a Fundraising Preference Service for people to opt-out of contacts with fundraisers.
- In Scotland, see Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel website.
- Northern Ireland now comes under the Fundraising Regulator too.
- Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has merged with Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
- Office of Communication, Ofcom, covers telecoms , media (radio, television, but not BBC) and more.
- Advertising Standards Authority This includes advertising on non-broadcast electronic media (eg CD-ROM, internet). Phone 020 7580 5555
- Press Complaints Commission Phone 020 7353 1284.
- ISPA Not a statutory regulator, but reputable Internet Service Providers generally belong. The Code of Practice is quite large – see under Consumer Issues.
- Phone-paid Services Authority for telephone Premium Rate Services complaints or enquiries – includes charity donations, gambling, competitions etc.